The Kogo app
The Kogo app
Gadgets

Kogo: An AI powered travel companion

A fresh startup is aiming to revolutionise travel by creating stories around your travel, automatically

Karan Singh, Correspondent, evo India

Karan Singh, Correspondent, evo India

Kogo is, in essence, a way for you to record your journeys. It is split up into software and hardware, both of which serve different purposes. The app allows you to view other people’s trips, jump into discussions and learn from their experiences. The Kogo bot is a small unit with GPS and internet connectivity to record your trip and uses artificial intelligence to create a story for you. Kogo Capeesh? Let’s dive into it then!

Kogo Bot

“The Kogo Bot is for the trailblazers” says Raj K Gopalakrishnan, co-founder of Kogo. The Bot is a small device that can sit on the dashboard of your car or be mounted to the tank of your motorcycle or easily just sit in your backpack too. It has an M2M SIM card built in and a GPS tracker. The M2M SIM enables a secure connection that is not routed through the open internet, keeping user data secure and also giving the device its own internet, regardless of the network on your mobile phone. The GPS tracker allows for accurate, real time location tracking. The device has a battery that can last upto 10 days. What does the Bot do exactly? Well it records your trip, say you are travelling from Pune to Goa, it will craft posts for your social handles tailored to you and your trip. It will sense when you stop and you can feed in why you stopped. For example, if you stopped for food, Kogo will be able to pinpoint where you stopped and firstly keep it for your future reference and for the reference of other travellers on the same route but it will also use it in the story along the lines of — “Ate great Maggi at Ramchand restaurant”. You can choose if you’d like to share that or not, but it is a pretty nifty feature.

The Kogo Bot mounted on a Jawa's tank
The Kogo Bot mounted on a Jawa's tank

Many times on a road trip, you come at a fork with Google Maps showing similar route times for both, you choose one and obviously it is the one with narrow lanes and barely any tarmac. With Kogo’s live discussion feature you can ask a question about which route to take and it will alert your followers as well as other Kogo users who have travelled on the same route! Kogo also works without the internet. It records the data and crafts part of the thread offline and once you get back online, it will create the full story and with a built-in GPS tracker, it is always able to record your exact route. You can also choose to share your real time location with your followers or keep it private. If you’re travelling with other people, in a convoy for example a buddy mode allows you to see real time locations of other users and an SOS function will also alert others in case of an emergency.

Kogo App

The app has its fair share of features too. It allows users to see other people’s trips, where they’ve been, what they experienced and what they did. This will not only inspire people for their next journey but also help them eat or stay at tried and tested places, something that is especially important in remote parts of our country. Users can also join into discussions and put their inputs into a community of travellers and explorers.

Kogo: An AI powered travel companion

The community part will be a big factor in Kogo’s rise, the more like minded people that join and weave the community, the more widespread the adoption of Kogo will be. The app is completely free to use so if you only want to join into the community and consume information of other people’s amazing journeys, that can be done at no cost. However, when married with the Bot the usability of Kogo’s app expands quite a bit. It can inform you of any road closures or major events happening on your route, a very important feature on any road trip. Kogo has appointed certain moderators across the country who will feed in this information. Those very moderators will also be able to assist you in an emergency, if you use the SOS function. The app will also be your anchor point for the stories the Bot is helping to create, which you can then upload onto your social media handles if you like.

Pricing and availability

The Bot costs Rs 7749, which includes the SIM and a one year subscription. Post the first year, you will have to pay Rs 1300. Like I said before, if you just want to view content, the app is free to download on both iOS and Android. Kogo is also tying up with OEMs that will sell the Bot. The first of which is Jawa, which means you can pick up a co-branded Kogo Bot at a Jawa showroom. There will be more OEMs coming soon too. The Bot will also be available via their online store, adventure stores, car or bike accessory stores.

Kogo does a lot more too, a feature called quests helps to gamify travel adding a layer of motivation to the trip. Quests will award you with flags or badges for extraordinary achievements, for example if you cross two states you will get a cross-country traveller achievement. Tie ups with other brands like Cafe Coffee Day will allow them to reward you with freebies or discounts too, for example, if you’ve been riding for a long time, Kogo can award you with a cold coffee at a Cafe Coffee Day close by. Yes, this isn’t ready yet and it will take a lot of traction for Kogo to get into a position to tie up with brands and provide freebies, but it is in the pipeline. There’s a lot more to explore with Kogo and we can’t wait to put in a long road trip once we get our hand on one!

Evo India
www.evoindia.com